Colts 2018 Unsung Heroes

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Dec 2, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) runs as Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Ronnie Harrison (36) brings him down during the second half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts had a shaky start to the season going 1-5 and not many playmakers making themselves known except for linebacker Darius Leonard. After going 1-5 the Colts have now won 7 of their last 8 games and have had some huge games in that time span. Most notably when they beat the Titans 38-10, the Texans 24-21, and most recently the Cowboys when they blew them out 23-0. Through the total of the Colts’ 8 wins, there have been players who have played key roles yet haven’t gotten any deserved recognition.

Nyheim Hines- Running back

Hines is a rookie running back out of NC State who was selected in the 4th round, 104th overall. After being compared to Darren Sproles the short, quick, and shifty veteran Hines has been a huge help in the Colts’ pass game even at the running back spot. Hines has 56 receptions which are second for rookie halfbacks only behind Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley who the Colts will be playing this week.

Hines has been the back up to Marlon Mack when Mack is healthy but actually started a few games, during this season Hines has totaled 308 yards in 82 rushing attempts also getting a touch down along the way. While receiving the ball, he has caught 56 passes for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns giving him a total of 667 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Mack-Hines duo has been a slept on one as of the past few weeks during the Colts’ recent success.

Braden Smith- Right tackle

To start the 2018 NFL season really no one thought Smith was pro-ready, even Colts’ GM Chris Ballard. After getting the start, Smith was apart of the ensemble cast that went on the five game no-sack streak when they went against top 10 defenses at that time. Smith has tied down the right side of the line as a rookie much like Pro Bowl guard Quenton Nelson. these two rookies along with center Ryan Kelly give the Colts hope for years to come.

Mo Alie-Cox- Tight End

In 2017 Alie-Cox signed with the Colts not having played any organized football since his freshman year in high school. Alie-Cox went to VCU to play basketball but ultimately came to play football with the Colts. On January 1st, 2018 Alie signed a future contract to play with the team for the 2018 season and was simply a back up for most of the season. Alie-Cox finally had his big break when the Colts headed to Oakland to play the Raiders where he caught his first career touchdown, a great one at that.

Former VCU basketball player Mo Alie-Cox with a ridiculous touchdown catch pic.twitter.com/FiXVaMyjig— Eric Fawcett (@Efawcett7) October 28, 2018

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A beautiful one-handed touchdown grab put Mo Alie-Cox on the map and he has only continued to impress all Colts fans. Over the past few weeks, Alie-Cox has continued to impress as a blocker most notably against the Cowboys great front seven.

Denico Autry- Defensive lineman

Signing Autry this past offseason was another brilliant move by GM Chris Ballard.  The former Raider has shown life late into the season after battling injury at the start. On the year, Autry has totaled 34 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 9 tackles for loss, and 9 QB hits earning his a Pro Bowl alternate spot. Autry adds not only depth, but competition for a starting role to make other defensive linemen work harder as teammates should.

Anthony Walker- Middle linebacker

The 2017 5th round pick and final pick for the Colts in the draft has stepped up tremendously and been a great partner for rookie linebacker Darius Leonard. Walker has been a great sideline to sideline backer making many key tackles. Walker has had a mini Leonard-like season in which he has 103 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 4 defended passes, and finally an interception. Walker’s versatility has shown to be great for this long and quick Colts’ team.

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Pierre Desir- Corner back

The five-year veteran is spending his career best and second season with the Colts. Desir has been in the shadows and not given much appreciation for how to shut down he has been against some of the leagues best receivers. In week 14 he held Deandre Hopkins to just 36 yards in 4 catches with one touch down while the following week he held arguably the leagues hottest receiver Amari Cooper to 32 yards in once again 4 catches.

Desir hasn’t been the Colts best corner this year as Kenny Moore has but hes had quite a stat line. Desir has totaled up 69 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 2 forced fumbles, 7 pass deflections, and an interception showing huge value to the corner spot when many called corner the Colts’ biggest need.

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